Currently, the area of enzymatic manipulation of nucleic acids is expanding in several different directions. VIROINF will be timely by using available viral metagenome data to explore the great potential to search for new enzymes useful in biotechnology. New viral enzymes have a high chance of showing new and different properties that can open up new or improved applications and expand the market.
In particular thermophilic phages infecting bacteria and archaea (identified in WP 1.2) have been recognised as a novel source for nucleic acid modifying enzymes. In most DNA/RNA applications high temperature gives a clear advantage and therefore preference will be to search
for enzymes from thermophilic (or other extremophilic) metagenomics samples. ESR 7 and ESR 14 will tackle the area of treatment development against bacterial infections. This working package uses the output of WP 1.1, WP 1.2, and WP 1.4 to large-scale identification of phage sequences, functional annotation and in vitro validation of phages as a treatment against harmful bacteria.
VIROINF will interact in this working package closely with InfectoGnostics, emphasising close interactions to industrial partners for specific goals (in our case functions of selected proteins).